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A "distressed & unfriendly" seal has been rescued from a British field.

Experts believe the grey juvenile seal may have swam from a colony in Hilbre Island, in the Dee Estuary, and got lost.
A Merseyside Police spokesman said: "A report came in from dog walker at 9:39 AM of the animal on a farmers' field off Winwick Road in Newton-le-Willows."
The seal was put into the container and taken to a seal sanctuary, where it will be checked over before being returned to the sea.
Rachael Fraser, from [British Divers Marine Life Rescue Service], said: "It's very unusual."
posted by Going To Maine on Dec 22, 2014 - 31 comments

The Place for Royalty and The Right Sort of Young

When Mark Birley died at the age of 77 he left behind a legacy of London nightclubs for the aristocratic set ...and a highly contested $200 million dollar estate with last second will changes, phony ex-girlfriends, and feuding children. Maureen Orth explores the family life of the nightlife king.
posted by The Whelk on Dec 12, 2014 - 10 comments

Dangerous days

For whom the bell tolls: accidental deaths in Tudor England
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Nov 23, 2014 - 40 comments

Chocolate Smoke Persian Sugartump Supremo Disaronno

Hello. This year's Supreme Cat Show is taking place in Birmingham, England. The one-day show is one of the largest cat fancy competitions in Europe with over one thousand cats being exhibited. Observe Norwegian Forest Cat 'Kattjeules Tinkerbell', while Kirsty, who was at the event showing her Persian cat, said grooming the long-haired cat to get him show-ready was a lot of work and takes 20-30 minutes a day. In 2011 the process paid of for Mrs Murray and her moggie Mr Bojangles (whose show name is “Imperial Grand Premier & Supreme Kitten Isadoryou Mr Bojangles”) won the kitten category.
posted by Wordshore on Nov 23, 2014 - 30 comments

Here's a box of chocolates; it is your duty to eat them.

People like order in their lives. This does not go down well with those who feel that social restraints of any sort are a bad thing, but these people are a distinct, if very noisy, minority. Most of us want social rules of some sort – not oppressive ones, of course – but rules that govern the way we conduct ourselves towards others. We want people to queue correctly.

We like it when people don’t chew with their mouth open. We love it – although we may be cowed into not saying this – when an able-bodied person gives up a seat to somebody who is clearly frailer. Personally, I like it when anybody gives up a seat on a train to anybody else, frail or not. (Novelist Alexander McCall Smith discusses Jane Austen's Emma in The Daily Mail.)
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Nov 11, 2014 - 35 comments

These are the times of the parables

A Parable.
"Hey do want to hear an album of spoken word poetry raps?"
*everyone looks uncomfortable*
"It's by a white girl from...England? With uh, garage beats?"
*everyone gets on to a spaceship and flies into the sun"
"Her name is Kate Tempest (previously). There's stories, about dating and generally being disaffected and drinking too much? And she utterly kills it live. Her old band was decent but, this is, like next level."
*no-one is left on earth but Common. He is wearing sunglasses as the sun flares.* *He nods his head.*
Common: "This is dope."
Mike Skinner (he's there too): "Well rude innit. Let's get a kebab mate."
F I N
posted by Potomac Avenue on Nov 7, 2014 - 13 comments

Woof.

A review of the uncomfortable, colonialist-islander RPG, Dog Eat Dog
posted by michaelh on Oct 22, 2014 - 32 comments

When you meet a stranger, look at his shoes.

The Rise Of Men’s British-Made Shoes
The most famous Northampton technique is the 'Goodyear welted' shoe. Invented in 1869 by Charles Goodyear, Jr., the Goodyear welted process is the footwear equivalent of the off-side rule: until somebody sits you down and talks you through it, it’s quite hard to understand.

The process involves approximately 75 components and 200 separate operations. On average, the whole process, from start to finish, takes eight weeks to complete. The main benefit of footwear that is made using Goodyear welted construction is that it can be resoled repeatedly, giving the shoe a longer lifespan.

posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Oct 20, 2014 - 78 comments

American mothers around the world

Joanna Goddard has been interviewing American women raising their children in other countries, to hear how motherhood around the world compared and contrasted with motherhood in America. She's talked to parents in Norway, Japan, Congo, Northern Ireland, Mexico, Abu Dhabi, India, England, China, Germany, Australia, Turkey, and Chile. [more inside]
posted by Banknote of the year on Oct 10, 2014 - 50 comments

Cheese your patter

A Dictionary of Slang, Cant, and Vulgar Words, by A London Antiquary. If Lord Palmerston is known by name to the tribes of the Caucasus and Asia Minor as a great foreign diplomatist, when the name of our Queen Victoria is an unknown title to the inhabitants of those parts—as was stated in the Times a short time ago,—I have only to remark that amongst the costers and the wild inhabitants of the streets he is better known as PAM.
posted by orrnyereg on Oct 2, 2014 - 10 comments

Deathsplaining

Alison Atkin is a Ph.D. student in osteoarchaeology at the University of Sheffield, studying plague cemeteries. Her research is presented in this quirky, hand-drawn poster. Don't miss GIFs of the interactive panels at her blog, Deathsplanation.
posted by Rumple on Sep 29, 2014 - 22 comments

the foreign players who lit up English football in the 1970s and 80s

There are many foreign players in English football today, but back in the 70s and 80s there were only a few. Some became club legends, others had disappointing spells with their club. This Daily Mail article has lots of lovely 70s and 80s style pictures of many of these players, including Ardilles, Grobelaar, and, of course, a young Alex Sabella.
posted by marienbad on Sep 15, 2014 - 4 comments

Cut square and stamped with a proper stamp of the happy union and baked

"Nowadays, we tend to eat biscuits with beverages like tea and coffee. But in the past they were an important element of the dessert course and were dipped into sweet wine." - Food History Jottings (previously) on the strange world of Regency biscuits. (Cookies to you US types.)
posted by The Whelk on Sep 9, 2014 - 25 comments

One of the most important fights in the history of boxing

On December 10, 1810, in a muddy field around 25 miles from London, a fight took place that was so dramatic, controversial, and ferocious that it continues to haunt the imagination of boxing more than 200 years later.
A long-form article in Grantland tells the story of freed American slave and boxer Tom Molineaux in England of the early 19th century.
posted by tykky on Sep 9, 2014 - 5 comments

Ring the bells that still can ring

How did something as loud as a bell—something which is experienced so much more often, and more powerfully, by hearing than by sight—become dumb?
[more inside]
posted by tykky on Aug 30, 2014 - 20 comments

ICI FINIT LA CVLTVRE ALLEMANDE

On this day one hundred years ago, Imperial German soldiers who had peacefully arrived in the Belgian city of Leuven (Fr: Louvain), having taken hostages and accepted the parole of its mayor on behalf of its citizens, without warning set fire to the city and massacred its inhabitants forever altering the city, its university's library, and the course of the war.
  • Belgian Judicial Report on the Sacking of Louvain in August 1914
  • The destruction and rebuilding of the Louvain Library: claim and counterclaim
  • [more inside]
    posted by Blasdelb on Aug 25, 2014 - 13 comments

    Twenty four days to go

    The second televised debate between Alex Salmond and Alistair Darling is to be shown across the UK tonight. After a lacklustre first debate, the final days of the referendum campaign are ticking down. There are signs of growing momentum for the Yes side, with undecideds moving to Yes in some polls and the 'Yes Declaration' recently hitting a million signatures. But the Better Together campaign still has some heavy hitters on side, with Sir Ian Wood recently casting doubt on oil extraction figures he had previously agreed with. [more inside]
    posted by Happy Dave on Aug 25, 2014 - 223 comments

    1970s footballers at home

    With the English Premier League season heading into its second week, The Guardian took the opportunity to publish a strange series of pictures from photographer Ray Wright of some of the top footballers of the 1970s posing at home with their families and a few choice possessions such as vacuum cleaners, radios, moving boxes, tricycles, wallpaper, axes and globes.
    posted by salishsea on Aug 22, 2014 - 23 comments

    Well I'll Go To The Foot Of Our Stairs

    British subtitles
    posted by The Whelk on Aug 20, 2014 - 32 comments

    Run you cowardly Italian!

    On 16 April 1746, the Jacobite forces of Charles Edward Stuart fought loyalist troops commanded by William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland near Inverness in the Scottish Highlands. In 1964, Peter Watkins wrote and produced a docudrama for the BBC, from the perspective of a documentary crew on the ground, depicting the battle and its aftermath: Culloden. [1:12:14]
    posted by cthuljew on Aug 18, 2014 - 15 comments

    Okay, angry owls it is

    One of the great things about medieval art and architecture is that people just went in and did things. They didn’t build models and scale them up. Building great cathedrals and abbeys was a learning process as much as anything else. This means many of these apparently perfect aspirations to the Heavenly Jerusalem have some often quite comical mistakes, corrections and bodge-jobs that once you see, you can’t unnotice. Great Mistakes in English Medieval Architecture.
    posted by verstegan on Aug 17, 2014 - 44 comments

    808state​:psycho​ecstatic​tranceenducing​groove​riding​techno​funk​alogical​sound

    808 State is an English electronic group that formed in 1987, and take their name from the Roland TR-808 drum machine and their shared state of mind. As a trio, they produced their iconic track, Pacific, which fused influences of house music, jazz fusion and exotica. The group changed membership a bit over the years, but one way or another 808 State have released six albums* to date, and a number of singles, EPs, and promotional discs. 808state.com has a ton of information, including an extensive visual discography, a list of other productions and remixes, and over a gig of demos, live tracks, and other non-album audio to download. Given the group's 27 year-long history, there's a lot more to see and hear. [more inside]
    posted by filthy light thief on Aug 7, 2014 - 30 comments

    The three Chicken Wars, and their (less than) lasting impacts

    In the records of human conflicts, there are at least three Chicken Wars. Two left little mark on the world at large, and the third resulted in some strange work-arounds for heavy tariffs. The first was Wojna kokosza, the Chicken or Hen War of 1537, when an anti-royalist and anti-absolutist rokosz (rebellion) by the Polish nobility resulted in near-extinction of local "kokosz" (an egg laying hen), but little else. The second was an odd spin-off of the more serious War of the Quarduple Alliance that lasted from 1717 to 1720. Though most of the activity happened in Europe, there were some battles in North America. The Texas manifestation was the capture of some chickens by French forces from a Spanish mission, and a costly overreaction by Spanish religious and military men. The third Chicken War was a duel of tariffs during the Cold War, with the only lasting casualty being the availability of foreign-made light trucks in the United States. [more inside]
    posted by filthy light thief on Aug 4, 2014 - 15 comments

    It's a truth universally recognized that you have no game

    How to pick up genteel women in the 18th Century according to period guides.
    posted by The Whelk on Aug 2, 2014 - 17 comments

    The most important battle you've probably never heard of

    The Battle of Bouvines was fought 800 years ago on July 27, 1214 and its outcome directly led to the Magna Carta and also to the national identities of both England and France. Some historians claim this date should be remembered after the Battle of Hastings in 1066 as one of the defining moments in English history. King John attempted to retake lands in Normandy employing an alliance army including Otto of Germany. John attacked from the south, but more importantly Otto was decisively defeated at Bouvines. Humiliated in defeat John was forced to consent to the Magna Carta, and the Anglo-Norman realm came to a final end allowing both England and France to develop their separate national identities. More background.
    posted by caddis on Jul 26, 2014 - 14 comments

    It was late June

    On 24 June 1914, a young man caught the 10.20 train from London to Malvern. At around 12.45 the train stopped at a small country station in Gloucestershire. And what happened then? Well .. nothing much. The station closed in 1966, but this afternoon a special train will be stopping there, unwontedly, to mark the centenary of one of the best-loved poems in the English language. [more inside]
    posted by verstegan on Jun 24, 2014 - 19 comments

    LON (London): HELLO THERE WHAT ARE ALL THESE RUMOURS WE HEAR THIS IS LON

    FK (Falklands): WE HAVE LOTS OF NEW FRIENDS
    LON: WHAT ABOUT INVASION RUMOURS
    FK: THOSE ARE THE FRIENDS I WAS MEANING

    Today marks the 32nd anniversary of the ceasefire which ended the ten-week Falklands War. The war began when Argentine forces invaded the nearly undefended British archipelago, and ended with a decisive British victory following a counter-invasion (which the US Navy had considered to be a “military impossibility”). This war—in which 649 Argentine soldiers, 255 British soldiers, and 3 civilians were killed—is still a fresh memory for the countries involved, as seen from growing tensions between the Argentina and England sides at the World Cup in Brazil. Only two current England players and four current Argentina players had been born when the war occurred.
    posted by 256 on Jun 14, 2014 - 63 comments

    Flew On The Pitch And We're 'Aving A Laugh

    Yesterday, during the pre-World Cup friendly between England and Peru being played at Wembley Stadium, there were three goals scored, but the moment that captured the most attention has been this unbelievable, incredible paper airplane toss.
    posted by BeerFilter on May 31, 2014 - 24 comments

    Everything Looks Pre-Planned With These Hungarians

    "On 25 November 1953, an international football match was played between Hungary - then the world's number one ranked team, the Olympic champions and on a run of 24 unbeaten games, and England... The British press referred to it as the "Match of the Century" - the originators of the game, against the finest team in the world at that time." [more inside]
    posted by marienbad on May 12, 2014 - 21 comments

    May the road rise up to meet you.

    The Roader’s Digest is ‘the most complete archive of information on the British and Irish road networks on the web.’ from the A1 to the R999; from the B3306 to the B855, they probably have a description of it. [more inside]
    posted by misteraitch on May 6, 2014 - 20 comments

    The good that men do (sometimes) lives after them

    Today is the 450th anniversary of William Shakespeare's birth - "...The centenary of Shakespeare’s birth fell soon after the theatres reopened with the Restoration of the monarchy, following the period when the Puritans had closed them down for the duration of the Civil War. His plays formed a staple part of the repertoire, but those of Beaumont and John Fletcher were performed more frequently. Shakespeare only pulled ahead of the pack in the Georgian era. It was around his 200th anniversary, under the auspices of the great actor David Garrick, that he took on his status as National Poet and exemplar of artistic genius...." More here
    posted by marienbad on Apr 23, 2014 - 31 comments

    'the epitome of barbarism and heathendom.'

    The Vikings invented soap operas and pioneered globalisation - so why do we depict them as brutes?
    posted by the man of twists and turns on Mar 24, 2014 - 51 comments

    It's unknown whether these homebrewers went for insanely hoppy IPAs too

    "As an important part of daily nourishment, women had always produced beer at home and for their own household. However, in Holland from the beginning of the thirteenth century beer production for the general market commenced. In the developing cities more and more labour was divided among specialised craftsmen. Professional breweries were established and the beer industry became a serious trade." -- female brewers in Holland and England, a paper by Marjolien van Dekken looking at how the brewery industry changed in Early Modern Times from largely homebrewed and controlled by women to a more large scale and male dominated industry. [more inside]
    posted by MartinWisse on Mar 13, 2014 - 10 comments

    It matters to me

    In March 1993 Bikini Kill toured the UK. "It Changed My Life" is a film about that tour, with openers Huggy Bear, & contributions by the Raincoats, Sister George, and Skinned Teen. [more inside]
    posted by Potomac Avenue on Feb 26, 2014 - 14 comments

    Lord Cobham was burnt alive, but I forget what for

    15 year old Jane Austen wrote a satrical history of English monarchs and now you can read it.
    posted by The Whelk on Feb 25, 2014 - 19 comments

    American Deep Blues Touring 1960's Britain

    The American Folk Blues Festival 1962 - 1966; Vol 2; Vol 3 - The festival was an annual event with dozens of classic blues greats like Sonny Boy Williamson, Muddy Waters & Howlin' Wolf playing to appreciative UK audiences. "Attendees at Manchester in 1962, the first ever venue for the festival in Britain, included Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Brian Jones and Jimmy Page. Subsequent attendees at the first London festivals are believed to have also included such influential musicians as Eric Burdon, Eric Clapton, and Steve Winwood. Collectively these were the primary movers in the blues explosion that would lead to the British Invasion." [more inside]
    posted by madamjujujive on Feb 23, 2014 - 19 comments

    Reet good.

    An interview with Millen Eve, a very cute Yorkshire lass. (SLYT)
    posted by Caskeum on Feb 14, 2014 - 27 comments

    What Planet Are You From?

    How many of the 114,580 people in Estadio Azteca on June 22, 1986, missed one or both of Diego Maradona’s goals against England because they were in the bathroom or buying a Budweiser? The two legendary goals that decided the World Cup quarterfinal occurred in quick succession shortly after the start of the second half. In the 51st minute, the Hand of God beat the hand of Shilton. Only four minutes later, while the outrage of English fans and players was still raw, El Diego received the ball in his own half, facing his own net. It took him 11 touches and 10.6 seconds to beat six opponents—Beardsley, Reid, Butcher (twice), Fenwick, and the goalkeeper, Shilton—and bury what many consider to be the greatest goal of all time.

    posted by the man of twists and turns on Feb 12, 2014 - 14 comments

    STRENGTH YOUR BLOOD AND SHADOW

    At first sight the search for peace and stability in Iraq, and the search for physical and mental fitness in the extreme contortions of modern Yoga seem to have absolutely nothing in common. But curiously they do. Both the terrible structural problems and distortions that underly Iraqi society today, and the strange, contorted poses that millions of people perform every day in things like Bikram's Hot Yoga, actually come from the fevered imagination of the British ruling class one hundred years ago. As they felt Britain's power declining they wanted desperately to go back into the past and create a purer and more innocent world, uncorrupted by the messiness of the modern industrial world - a new Eden forged both by strengthening and purifying the human body and by inventing new model countries round the world. And we are still suffering from the consequences of that terrible nostalgia. BODYBUILDING AND NATION-BUILDING
    posted by timshel on Feb 4, 2014 - 11 comments

    SPINE CHILLING

    BRITISH "GHOST TRAIN" FACADES FROM THE 1970s AND 80s
    (from the National Fairground Archive digital collection)
    posted by timshel on Jan 16, 2014 - 12 comments

    You'll probably want your winter wetsuit

    Icy weather getting you down? How about a nice relaxing beach holiday? The same weather pattern bringing Antarctic temperatures to America is pushing Himalayan surf towards Europe. With storm swell battering coastlines from Portugal to Cornwall, big-wave specialists from around the world are flocking to the unlikely surf mecca of Mullaghmore, Co. Sligo, Ireland. Apparently it's been pretty intense... "Down there was living repeatedly rabbit punched while diving in the deep!" [more inside]
    posted by Pre-Taped Call In Show on Jan 8, 2014 - 17 comments

    Mr. Rick Wakeman on keyboards ... and various other concerns

    Whether taking all mankind close to the edge with his keyboard contributions to every punk's favorite prog-rock band Yes, or going it solo (in fully sequined gown) with all Six Wives of Henry VIII all the way to the center of the earth, or perhaps with figure skating Knights of the Round Table, or composing the score for Ken Russell's Liztomania (and "acting" in it), or doing definitive session work for the likes of David Bowie, Black Sabbath, etc, or candidly singing the praises of Christianity and/or Freemasonry ... [more inside]
    posted by philip-random on Dec 21, 2013 - 34 comments

    Hobbits would only drink ales since lagers are not found on Middle-earth

    So, you want to eat like a hobbit do you? The big old dragon of Middle-Earth recipes is the charmingly retro 'Middle-Earth Recipes' (now with a more modern and photo-friendly blog version ) from which NPR's Beth Accomando has complied an all-day feasting menu suitable for marathon watching (or reading) assorted Lord Of The Rings media while Recipewise sticks to foods served by Bilbo in The Hobbit itself and explains the Victorian convention of high vs. low tea. (Author Diane Duane's own Hobbit-inspired recipe, Took Family Seed Cake can be made with poppy rather than caraway seed if that's your thing) Need something to do while digesting? Why not read about the history and meaning of the rural comfort food in Tolkien at Strange Horizons " Well Stocked Larders: Food And Diet Of Hobbits" by Stephanie Green.
    posted by The Whelk on Dec 15, 2013 - 45 comments

    Ask: did you know they have wi-fi and sushi?

    How to write about the North
    posted by mippy on Nov 28, 2013 - 63 comments

    "Save one life, save the world."

    In 1988, Nicholas Winton appeared on the BBC program "That's Life." [more inside]
    posted by zarq on Nov 24, 2013 - 12 comments

    A Night at the Xclusiv

    THE HEIGHT OF GOTH: 1984: futuristic + way out young people [more inside]
    posted by philip-random on Nov 7, 2013 - 116 comments

    WWI in Color

    World War I in Color is a documentary designed to make the Great War come alive for a 21st-century audience. The events of 1914-18 are authoritatively narrated by Kenneth Branagh, who presents the military and political overview, while interviews with historians add different perspectives in six 48 minute installments annotated within. [more inside]
    posted by Blasdelb on Oct 31, 2013 - 60 comments

    UK: there's a big storm, a 'hurricane', coming (possibly)

    The 'worst storm since 1987' is due to hit the UK over the next few days. It may also hit 'northern France and the Low Countries'. It may be 'overwhelming' and 'there is a risk of some parts getting two inches of rain in a six hour period'. The Met Office has warned that 'England and Wales will be hit by a significant storm on Sunday night with winds of up to 80mph in some areas'. They also said the predicted storm was 'not one you would see every year' and that 'exceptional winds will batter Surrey'. Drivers are advised to 'at a minimum, take a fully-charged mobile phone and warm, weatherproof clothing.' Some media outlets claim, however, the storm will only be the worst of the last five year, though in Bristol it'll be the worst in 'two decades'. Never the less, 'stay well away from trees'. [more inside]
    posted by Wordshore on Oct 26, 2013 - 164 comments

    Who Sits On All The Money?

    The Guardian presents an animated video explaining the distribution of wealth in the UK (and how it's getting worse).
    posted by The Whelk on Oct 10, 2013 - 14 comments

    Paul Collingwood: catches win matches

    As Durham clinch the 2013 County Championship at their home ground, captain Paul Collingwood can reflect on success at club and country level, especially this season. For England he's scored more than a few runs against Australia and other sides, and has notched up 10 centuries, 20 fifties and 96 catches in test matches (the long form of the game) alone, in addition to a spot of wicket keeping. He's also captained England to their only global cricket tournament victory. But Paul is most well-known for his catching... [more inside]
    posted by Wordshore on Sep 19, 2013 - 5 comments

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